BY LINDA EGENES

Maharishi AyurVeda with Dr Mark ToomeyToxins surround us. In our food, our water, our air.

Yet according to Maharishi AyurVeda—a comprehensive, prevention–oriented healthcare system based on ancient Vedic health science—these environmental toxins are only part of the toxic load your body builds up every day.

Digestive toxins are created when you don’t digest your food properly, or when you eat food that doesn’t agree with your mind-body system. They can sap your energy, cloud your mind, and color your emotions.

The bottom line—toxins of all kinds create stress and disease.

Fortunately, the science of Maharishi AyurVeda offers many practical ways to detoxify both environmental and digestive toxins. Some of these can be practiced at home as part of your daily routine. Others are offered at in-residence facilities.

Maharishi AyurVeda Purification Treatments

One of the most powerful ways to clear toxins from the body and maintain overall balance is through the Maharishi RejuvenationSM program, traditionally called panchakarma.

“You could define panchakarma as the ancient art of purification,” says Mark Toomey, Ph.D., director of Maharishi AyurVeda at The Raj health spa in Fairfield, Iowa. Acclaimed by the likes of CBS, Newsweek, and Town and Country as a top Maharishi AyurVeda health spa, The Raj attracts clients from all over the world to its charming and luxurious facility nestled in the peaceful Iowa countryside.

Maharishi AyurVeda“Maharishi AyurVeda techniques of purification help us to maintain a physiology that’s not only capable of experiencing its own finer states of awareness, but also maintains the connectedness of every part of the body to wholeness, or pure consciousness, within,” says Dr. Toomey.

When you come to The Raj and stay in-residence, a Maharishi AyurVeda expert first determines your individual treatment program, depending on the state of balance or imbalance of your mind-body system.

The purifying spa schedule might include Maharishi AyurVeda warm-oil massage (abhyanga), soothing oil treatments to calm the mind (shirodhara), steam therapies (swedana)—and purification of the nasal passages and the large and small intestines.

Maharishi Rejuvenation therapies are gentle yet powerful in their ability to flush out toxins. A study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in 2002 found that the Maharishi Rejuvenation program reduced 14 varieties of lipophilic (fat-soluable) toxins by about 50 percent. These include DDE (a by-product of DDT) and harmful PCBs, which have been known to remain in the body for up to 40 years.

“These are environmental toxins that stay in the fat cells, and it’s extremely hard to get rid of them,” says Dr. Toomey. “Yet the ancient purification therapies of Maharishi AyurVeda are remarkably effective in flushing them out of the body.”

A Restful Experience

Although deeply purifying, treatments offered at The Raj are also soothing, relaxing, and rejuvenating. “The general experience is that purification does not have to be unpleasant,” says Dr. Toomey. “In fact, it’s blissful.” Many people make it a habit to return to the Raj again and again to rest, reset, and purify.

One client said, “I have been to top health spas all over the world, and the one I keep going back to is The Raj. It is truly the most peaceful and rejuvenating. Whether you are looking for an increased sense of spiritual peace and grounding, or whether you just want to look really good when you get back home—The Raj helps you accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself.”

Benefits for Mind and Body

The Maharishi Rejuvenation program is known to have a wide range of health benefits. These include increased vitality and fertility, balanced digestion, enhanced luster of the skin and clear complexion, slowing of aging, increased physical strength, enhanced power of the sense organs, relief from joint aches and pains, and relief from chronic disorders.

Yet Maharishi AyurVeda purification is not just for the body—it has a powerful effect on the mind as well—improving memory, increasing calmness, and enhancing positive emotions.

“At the end of treatment people report feeling lighter, having more energy, and more clear, blissful experiences during meditation,” says Dr. Toomey. “When you purify the body of toxins, you open the path to deeper experiences in meditation.”

Thus the Maharishi Rejuvenation program supports the development of higher states of consciousness. “We know that the transcendental aspect of meditation means ‘to go beyond,’” explains Dr. Toomey. “In order to experience that refined, transcendental level of our own pure consciousness, we need a purified, balanced physiology to support that experience.”

The Maharishi Rejuvenation program supports the development of higher states of consciousnessAt the same time, the deep rest provided by the Transcendental Meditation technique helps the body to purify toxins. It is known, for instance, that the body naturally has the means to metabolize environmental toxins and impurities through the liver and other organs of purification. It’s also known through research studies that chronic stress affects the body’s ability to purify toxins, and the fact is that TM reduces chronic stress and wear and tear on the body (allostatic load).

Dr. Toomey points out that this effect of TM in helping the body to purify environmental toxins is important for the brain as well. “Many environmental toxins are neurotoxic, which means they affect the ability of the brain to function,” he says. “Believe it or not, in Europe they count the by-product of pollution in lost IQ points. Which means that neurotoxic pollution can cause impairment of your intellectual abilities. It also means that when your body is overwhelmed with toxins, the ability to transcend may be less.”

So on the one hand, the ability to transcend helps enliven the body to purify, and on the other hand, the purification of the body helps the mind transcend.

Scott Fuller visits The Raj twice a year with his wife, Lynn. “The focus is on the purification of the physiology,” he says. “In my personal experience, it results in a profound wholeness. I always come back from The Raj feeling more grounded and in contact with my Self—with a capital ‘S.’ It’s the kind of feeling that you have when you’re six or seven and you feel there is nothing wrong with the world.”

Five Ways to Let Go of Toxins

Here are five Maharishi AyurVeda lifestyle habits that you can use at home to support your body’s self-purification systems.

  1. Detox while you sleep.According to Maharishi AyurVeda (and recent research on sleep), the body detoxifies during the period between 10 pm and 6 am. If you sleep during that time, your body will have the opportunity to rest, rejuvenate, and cleanse toxins properly.
  2. Clean up your diet. Eat organic foods that have been grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically modified seeds. In general, eat fresh, cooked, warm foods, as these are easier to digest. Avoid packaged, canned, or frozen foods as these often have additives and are not fresh.
  3. Reduce your stress. Practice the Transcendental Meditation technique to provide the deep rest and relief from stress the body’s self-purification systems need to purify harmful toxins naturally.
  4. Drink plenty of pure water.Water flushes water-soluble toxins from the body. Maharishi AyurVeda recommends warm water to aid digestion. Avoid ice-cold or carbonated water as these disturb digestion and cause digestive toxins to form.
  5. Use herbal supplements for a safe and effective home cleanse. See The Maharishi AyurVeda Detox Routine at Maharishi Ayurvedic Products International (MAPI) website (http://www.mapi.com).

(I originally wrote this interview for Enlightenment Magazine, Issue number 20. Reprinted with permission.)

BY LINDA EGENES

IMG_0409When I was a teenager my skin was a huge challenge. Blemishes and an oily nose were two problems I remember—not to mention blotchy coloring. Now that I’m more worried about wrinkles than acne, I’ve found out something that brings my quest for healthy skin full circle—antioxidants.

Yes, it’s true. From wrinkles to non-cystic acne and other skin issues, modern research is pointing to antioxidants as the way to combat a wide range of skin problems. Found in vitamins A, B, C, and E, and in minerals such as zinc and selenium, antioxidants help stop the ravaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable molecules your body produces when it does not fully metabolize food or is exposed to ultraviolet sun rays, environmental toxins, pollutants or stress. Free radicals attack healthy cells and can lead to acne; premature aging; dull, lackluster skin; and other skin problems.

Okay, you say, I’m all for damage control. But where do I start? It turns out that the age-old system of ayurvedic health care, practiced for thousands of years before antioxidants were discovered by modern science, is uncannily suited to reducing free radicals and increasing antioxidants. Here are some ayurvedic skin care tips to improve your health and your skin.

Tank Up with Antioxidants

The ayurvedic diet includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Antioxidants are especially abundant in grapes, blueberries, and pomegranates, but the key is to eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Did you know, for instance, that vitamin C is found not only in fresh-squeezed orange juice, but in many vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussels sprouts?

Simply by increasing the proportion of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to 60%, you can increase your antioxidant power and improve the quality of your skin.

Detoxify Your Diet

Because free radicals can be caused by eating foods that contain toxic pesticide residues, it’s best to choose organic foods whenever possible. And stay away from packaged or processed foods, as these contain chemical additives that damage your cells and your skin. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins from the skin—but make sure it’s pure and chemical-free.

For teenagers and anyone with especially sensitive “reactive” skin, eating toxin-free foods and limiting the fatty, sugary, hard-to-digest junk food can help in preventing breakouts. Radiant Skin is an herbal formula that purifies and supports the liver, cleanses the blood tissue of toxins, reduces excessive heat and oiliness, and promotes digestion. Its beneficial effects can be dramatic in coping with non-cystic acne, redness and other skin sensitivities, leaving your skin radiant and ble
mish-free.

Choose Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad for you. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, people with drier constitutions (Vata dosha) need more fat in their diets. And many people need more fat as they reach age 55 and older.

But choose your fats wisely. Recent research shows that hydrogenated oils—heavy in trans-fats and found in most processed foods—can cause inflammation throughout your body, damaging skin cells and accelerating aging.

Extra-virgin, first-cold-pressed olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that has healthy effects on the heart and skin—but it shouldn’t be heated to high temperatures above 320 degrees.

This chart provides a quick reference to the heating limits of most oils. For any oil, heating it beyond a certain point will start to destroy its nutritive qualities and create free radicals. Olive oil can be used in salads, to drizzle on vegetables or to sauté vegetables and spices at low heat. For baking or cooking at higher temperatures, use organic ghee (clarified butter), as its properties allow it to tolerate higher heat. It also has a purifying and nourishing effect on the cellular level of the skin.

For anyone in midlife or older, Maharishi Ayurvedic experts also recommend Youthful Skin Herbal Tablets, which are designed to provide nourishment to all seven layers of the skin, hydrating and rejuvenating from the inside out to promote supple, youthful-looking skin.

Reduce Stress Every Day

Free radicals also increase in your body when you skip sleep, are under stress, or “self-medicate” with cigarettes, alcohol or processed sugar. Maharishi Ayurveda recommends a daily routine that balances your activity with the regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation®technique, or other stress-reducing practices in your routine to allow the body to deal with the stress of the day. TM has been shown to be the most effective self-improvement technique for releasing stress by over 600 research studies conducted in major research institutions and universities. Daily yoga and aerobic exercise can also help keep stress in check.

Supplement Your Diet with Antioxidant Boosters

If you’re on the go and can’t balance your meals properly, Organic Premium Amla Berry is an ayurvedic formula made from Amla berries, which are rich in vitamin C. It is said to support the body’s digestive, detoxification and organ systems, helping promote soft, radiant skin.

Amla berry is also found in Maharishi Amrit Kalash Nectar, and when I take this regularly my skin seems to gets softer and more radiant and youthful looking. And no wonder—research shows that Maharishi Amrit Kalash is a rich source of a variety of antioxidants (one study alone found that a single teaspoon of Amrit Nectar contains an astonishing 1,000 times more antioxidant power than a vitamin C tablet). Due to the synergy of herbs included in this ancient ayurvedic formula, the antioxidants in Amrit are carried straight to the nucleus of the cell, beyond the lipid barrier.

In the ayurvedic tradition, Maharishi Amrit Kalash is known as the most powerful Rasayana (healing elixir) for rejuvenating your mind and body and creating beautiful, youthful skin. This age-old formula combats the stress of our modern lifestyle; nourishes, rehydrates and detoxifies the skin; and supports your immunity.

How to Make Your Own Ayurvedic Facial Cleanser for Your Skin Type

While reducing antioxidants can help anyone, other ayurvedic beauty techniques, such as the homemade facial cleansers below, are especially tailored to help your specific type of skin. If you do not want to make your own, try Youthful Skin Herbalized Clay.

DirectionsFirst choose the facial cleanser recipe that matches your skin type. Then stir together all the ingredients and apply gently on your face using your fingertips. Let the scrub set on your skin, then using very slight pressure, flake the mask off into the basin. If the mask feels too sticky, use warm water to rinse. Dab your face with a soft towel, and follow with a good moisturizer.

For Oily (Kapha) Skin:
1 teaspoon toasted wheat bran
¼ teaspoon almond powder
½ teaspoon orange-peel powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Dry (Vata) Skin:
2 teaspoons quick-cooking oats
¼ teaspoon almond powder
¼ teaspoon orange-peel powder
¼ teaspoon lavender-flower powder
2 tablespoons yogurt

For Sensitive (Pitta) Skin
2 teaspoons quick-cooking oats
¼ teaspoon almond powder
¼ teaspoon rose-petal powder
¼ teaspoon lavender-flower powder
2 tablespoons whole raw milk

(I originally wrote this blog for the Maharishi Ayurveda Blog [MAPI], November 30,2012. Reprinted with permission.) 

Photo by Linda Egenes

IMG_0411Soaking up the sun’s rays used to be considered a safe summer pastime. My friends would slather suntan oil over their bodies and relax in the sun for hours. Somehow I never got the hang of it, though—I felt hot and irritated, and no matter how hard I tried to get a tan, I’d usually last only five minutes before running under the nearest tree to cool off. Other times, I’d get caught with a sunburn.

Now we know that too much sun damages your skin. Excessive sun exposure can result in those unsightly brown spots, burns, sensitive skin, and even skin cancer. The ultraviolet rays of the sun, which are stronger due to a thinning ozone layer in recent decades, generate free radicals that accelerate wrinkling, drying and aging of the skin as well.

How Pitta Dosha Affects Your Skin in Summer

From the ayurvedic perspective, your body is made of five different elements. Fire, called tejas, has the qualities of transformation, burning, reflecting, shining, and sharpness. The fire element is found in the mind-body operator Pitta dosha, which governs the metabolic functions of the body and is characterized by heat and sharpness.

In particular, the fire element is found in the subdosha Bhrajaka Pitta, which governs the enzymatic changes of the skin. People with Pitta dosha predominant in their body type—i.e. those with a warm complexion or fair hair—are especially susceptible to sun exposure (which is why I could never spend hours in the sun like my dark-haired, olive-toned friends).

Normally, there is a natural balance in the skin—the skin has natural means to moisturize and cool itself. If Bhrajaka Pitta gets overheated, though, the ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate the skin, causing the overheated skin to destroy its own moisturizing functions. When this happens, such highly photosensitive people get sunburned even with a few minutes’ exposure to the sun. If this happens on a daily basis, it can cause early aging, because there isn’t enough moisture to prevent wrinkles and age spots from forming.

No matter what your skin type, the summer season’s extra heat and sun can increase Pitta dosha and affect your skin. Here are five Ayurvedic skin care tips to keep your skin cool and moist all summer long.

1. Eat Cooling Foods. To prevent summer skin damage, you’ll want to avoid foods or behaviors that increase Pitta dosha. Eating red chili peppers, vinegar, or sour foods will heat your body. Consuming leftovers, alcohol, genetically modified foods, or foods with lots of preservatives will also aggravate Pitta dosha. Avoid pungent, sour, or salty foods and favor the sweet, astringent and bitter tastes. This will have a cooling effect on your body and mind. Flavoring your foods with Organic Pitta Churna will have a balancing effect in summer.

2. Chill with cooling aromas. Diffusing Pitta Aroma oil or Blissful Heart Aroma oil as you sleep, taking  Blissful Joy tablets after lunch and dinner, and adding a teaspoon of Organic Rose Petal Preserve to water or milk (see recipes, this issue) can all help in keeping your skin cool in summer.

3. Moisturize from the inside. Drink plenty of pure water and Organic Pitta Tea, and eat more squashes, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Stay away from strong, chemical-laden, artificial skin creams, lotions, soaps, or shampoos, as these directly aggravate Bhrajaka Pitta and increase your sensitivity to sun damage.

5. Cool your emotions to protect your skin. Heated emotions can also heat the skin. This is because different subdoshas of Pitta govern the emotions and the skin, so they are closely linked. Watching violent movies, living with people who are angry, or feeling too much anger yourself can heat the emotions, and through them, your skin. You can see the connection between heated emotions and heated skin, because when people get angry, their faces turn red.

6. Protect your eyes. There is also a connection between the eyes and the skin, because both are governed by Pitta dosha. Wear sunglasses and a sun hat to protect your skin and eyes. When the eyes get overheated, that heats the emotions, and the heat reflects back to the skin. In the evening, splash your eyes with cool water. Apply a little Organic Rose Water to a cotton pad, and then lie down with your eyes closed and the pad over your eyes for five minutes. Do this daily for a refreshing effect on your eyes, and consequently a cooling effect on your emotions and skin. You’ll feel the emotional stress subsiding.

7. Prevent heat build-up with cooling coconut oil massage. In summer, you can massage your skin with coconut oil, which is a traditional youth-promoting face cream. Or try Soothing Herbal Massage Oil,as it has sesame oil as its base and contains cooling herbs. Using the Rose Herbal Cleansing Bar or Sandalwood Herbal Cleansing Bar in the bath or shower also cools and soothes the skin.

8. Use cooling skin care products. If your face and hands get mildly sunburned, try applying the juice from an aloe vera plant to your skin, as it’s considered the best natural means for dealing with sunburn. The Youthful Skin Clay, Youthful Skin Cleansing Bar, and Youthful Skin Cream will help cool and rejuvenate your skin, as they all contain Pitta-pacifying agents. Youthful Skin Cream is a botanical collagen-supporting face cream and also helpful for sun-damaged skin, because it pacifies Pitta dosha in the blood and the skin, and also supports the moisturizing function, so that heat cannot burn and dry out the skin. It is not a sunscreen, but it protects the skin from the inside. The Youthful Skin Clay squeezes out heat and balances Bhrajaka Pitta, cooling and nurturing sunburned skin.

9. And of course, wear sunscreen. By cooling your skin inside and out, you can enjoy the summer sun without damage.

(I originally wrote this blog for the Maharishi Ayurveda Blog [MAPI], June 25,2012. Reprinted with permission.) 

Photo credit: Linda Egenes

BY LINDA EGENES

IMG_2668Non-cystic acne is the scourge of teenagers and usually disappears once they are past those difficult years, but for some it continues on and off all their life. From the ayurvedic perspective minor acne can involve all three doshas (mind/body principles), but Pitta dosha and rakta dhatu (blood) are the main culprits. To learn how to get rid of acne, you need to first identify the dosha most involved. Pitta acne, the most common, is all about redness and excess heat, while Vata involves more dryness and Kapha more oiliness.

Here are three Ayurvedic detox programs to choose from based on your predominant dosha: Pitta, Vata-Pitta or Kapha-Pitta. Each program includes a detox, diet & herbal recommendations, facial mask recipe and a tea recipe.

Start with a 15-Day Deep Detox Program –

Pitta Acne Program – most common

• Taking 2 tablets of Herbal Cleanse before going to bed each night will cleanse the bowel. • Taking 2 tablets of Elim-Tox-O morning and evening will cleanse the liver, blood, sweat glands and the elimination system. • Taking 2 tablets of Genitrac morning and evening will purify the urinary tract and assist the removal of toxins.

Once you finish the 15-day detox, now is the time to start taking 2 Radiant Skin tablets AM and PM on an empty stomach with warm water. If the skin still has some irritation or redness after finishing the detox, you may add an extra 2 tablets of Radiant Skin at bedtime. Also continue 2 tablets of Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) at bedtime. Radiant Skin is an herbal formula that purifies and strengthens the liver, cleanses the blood tissue of toxins, reduces excessive heat and oiliness, and enhances digestion. Its beneficial effects can have a dramatic effect in fighting acne, redness and other skin sensitivities, leaving your skin radiant and blemish-free. Sandalwood helps balances Pitta in the skin (sensitivity) and helps keep the skin clear. Neem is a traditional detoxifier, which helps cleanse the body of toxins. Acne can often be aggravated by emotional stress. If that is the case, it would help to add Stress Free Emotions to the daily regimen. To help pacify Pitta emotions, try aroma oils containing rose oil or sandalwood oil such as Blissful Heart or Cooling Pitta aroma.

Pitta Diet Restrictions:

It’s best to avoid food that aggravates Pitta, such as hot spicy foods or fermented foods like yeast, vinegar, pickles, soy sauce, yogurt, tomato sauce and alcohol. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and seafood. Also try to avoid mixing incompatible foods such as milk with sour fruits or melons; equal amounts of honey and ghee; and milk or yogurt with any sour foods. Favor sweet juicy fruits, green leafy veggies, and squashes. Have ½ cup of aloe vera juice after meals with ½ tsp. of Turmeric powder added.

Face mask Mix: 1 tsp. of colloidal oatmeal powder, 1 tsp. of ground red lentil powder, 1 tsp. of Youthful Skin Herbalized Clay, ½ tsp. of marshmallow root powder, ¼ tsp. Turmeric, a pinch of rose petal powder with some Organic Rose Water and whole milk until you have a smooth paste.

Apply to skin; leave for 5 minutes; wash with cool water. Apply Youthful Skin toner after washing. Spray skin during the day with Organic Rose Water. Lightly dab a little Youthful Skin Cream to moisturize.

Tea Boil 3 cups of water with 1 tsp. of fennel seeds, 1 tsp. of Indian sarsaparilla, ½ tsp. coriander seeds, ½ tsp. of cumin seeds and a pinch of manjistha.

Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, then strain into a thermos and sip all day.

Vata-Pitta Acne Program

To get rid of acne that is both Vata and Pitta, you will have the redness but more dryness. Follow the Vata diet with Pitta restrictions. It’s best to have less cold food and drinks, or dry and rough food.

15-Day Deep Detox Program –

• Taking 2 tablets of Herbal Cleanse before going to bed each night will cleanse the bowel. • Taking 2 tablets of Elim-Tox-O morning and evening will cleanse the liver, blood, sweat glands and the elimination system. • Taking 2 tablets of Genitrac morning and evening will purify the urinary tract and assist the removal of toxins.

Once you finish the 15-day detox, now is the time to start taking 2 Radiant Skin tablets AM and PM on an empty stomach with warm water. If the skin still has some irritation or redness after finishing the detox, you may add an extra 2 tablets of Radiant Skin at bedtime. Also continue 2 tablets of Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) at bedtime. Radiant Skin is an herbal formula that purifies and strengthens the liver, cleanses the blood tissue of toxins, reduces excessive heat and oiliness, and enhances digestion. Its beneficial effects can have a dramatic effect in fighting acne, redness and other skin sensitivities, leaving your skin radiant and blemish-free. Sandalwood helps balances Pitta in the skin (sensitivity) and helps keep the skin clear. Neem is a traditional detoxifier, which helps cleanse the body of toxins.

Acne can often be aggravated by emotional stress. If that is the case, it would help to add Stress Free Emotions to the daily regimen. To help pacify Pitta emotions, try aroma oils containing rose oil or sandalwood oil such as Blissful Heart or Cooling Pitta aroma.

Pitta Diet Restrictions: It’s best to avoid food that aggravates Pitta, such as hot spicy foods or fermented foods like yeast, vinegar, pickles, soy sauce, yogurt, tomato sauce and alcohol. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and seafood. Also try to avoid mixing incompatible foods such as milk with sour fruits or melons; equal amounts of honey and ghee; and milk or yogurt with any sour foods. Favor sweet juicy fruits, green leafy veggies, and squashes.

Face mask Mix: 1 1/2 tsp. of colloidal oatmeal powder, 1 tsp. of ground red lentil powder, 1 tsp. of Youthful Skin Herbalized Clay, ½ tsp. of marshmallow root powder, ¼ tsp. turmeric, a pinch of rose petal powder with some Organic Rose Water and whole milk until you have a smooth paste.

Apply to skin; leave for 5 minutes; wash with cool water. Apply Youthful Skin toner after washing. Spray skin during the day with Organic Rose Water.

Tea Boil 3 cups of water with: 1 tsp. of fennel seeds, 1 tsp. of Indian sarsaparilla, ½ tsp. coriander seeds, ½ tsp. of cumin seeds and a pinch of manjistha.

Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, then strain into a thermos and sip all day.

Kapha-Pitta Acne Program

For Kapha-Pitta acne, you will have the redness but with more oiliness. Follow a Kapha dietwith Pitta restrictions.

hhhh15-Day Deep Detox Program – • Taking 2 tablets of Herbal Cleanse before going to bed each night will cleanse the bowel. • Taking 2 tablets of Elim-Tox morning and evening will cleanse the liver, blood, sweat glands and the elimination system. • Taking 2 tablets of Genitrac morning and evening will purify the urinary tract and assist the removal of toxins.

Once you finish the 15-day detox, now is the time to start taking 2 Radiant Skin tablets AM and PM on an empty stomach with warm water. If the skin still has some irritation or redness after finishing the detox, you may add an extra 2 tablets of Radiant Skin at bedtime. Also include 2 tablets of Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) at bedtime.Radiant Skin is an herbal formula that purifies and strengthens the liver, cleanses the blood tissue of toxins, reduces excessive heat and oiliness, and enhances digestion. Its beneficial effects can have a dramatic effect in fighting acne, redness and other skin sensitivities, leaving your skin radiant and blemish-free. Sandalwood helps balances Pitta in the skin (sensitivity) and helps keep the skin clear. Neem is a traditional detoxifier, which helps cleanse the body of toxins.

Acne can often be aggravated by emotional stress. If that is the case, it would help to add Stress Free Emotions to the daily regimen. To help pacify Pitta emotions, try aroma oils containing rose oil or sandalwood oil such as Blissful Heart or Cooling Pitta aroma.

Pitta Diet Restrictions: It’s best to avoid food that aggravates Pitta, such as hot spicy foods or fermented foods like yeast, vinegar, pickles, soy sauce, yogurt, tomato sauce and alcohol. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and seafood. Also try to avoid mixing incompatible foods such as milk with sour fruits or melons; equal amounts of honey and ghee; and milk or yogurt with any sour foods.

Face mask Mix 1 tsp. of colloidal oatmeal powder, 1 tsp. of ground red lentil powder, 1 ½ tsp. of Youthful Skin Herbalized Clay, ½ tsp. of marshmallow root powder, ¼ tsp. Turmeric, a pinch of rose petal powder with some Organic Rose Water and whole milk until you have a smooth paste.

Apply to skin; leave for 5 minutes; wash with cool water. Apply Youthful Skin toner after washing. TIP: Adding a few drops of lemon juice to the toner will help with extra oiliness. Spray skin during the day with Organic Rose Water. It’s best to avoid the moisturizer if you have really oily skin.

Tea Boil 3 cups of water with 1 tsp. of fennel seeds, 1 tsp. of Indian sarsaparilla, ½ tsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. of cumin seeds and a pinch of manjistha. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, then strain into a thermos and sip all day.

(I originally wrote this blog for the Maharishi Ayurveda Blog [MAPI], May 17, 2012. Reprinted with permission.) 

BY LINDA EGENES

Shel Pink is a lifestyle futurist and founder of the cutting-edge SpaRitual, a vegan nail, body, and lifestyle brand. Now at the forefront of the Slow Beauty movement, Shel sees the green movement transitioning towards a discussion of slow ideals in direct response to a lifestyle that has become too fast.

With a background in art, business, ecology, Ayurveda and meditation, she also participates in think-tanks and nonprofits to improve the environment. Here Shel takes time from her busy life as an entrepreneur, activist, wife, and mother of two to speak to Enlightenment.

Ecology Beauty and Consciousness with Shel Pink

 

Q: You created a cosmetics company that was vegan, organic, and good for the environment long before “eco” became a trend. What were some of the influences that contributed to that vision?

Shel Pink: My entire life I’ve been making connections and noticing socio-cultural patterns. In college I studied art history, social movements, and social trends. I saw something bubbling under.

I knew that there were more consumers, like me, who wanted healthier beauty products. I called them “enlightened consumers.” At that time they were marginalized, but I knew their voices were going to get louder. People said, “No way. This is going to be a trend but it’s going to be fleeting.” But as we’ve seen, the eco, vegan, and organic trend just got stronger and it’s affected all aspects of our lives.

Q: What is “slow beauty” and why do you feel it’s important in our stressed world?

Shel Pink: It’s about expanding your concept of beauty to include health and wellness, and embarking on a slower path to beauty. For the past 150 years the beauty industry has been product centered —and very much about external beauty and this concept of “anti-aging.”

I feel we need to open up new dialogue and stop trying to “anti” age because we’re not against ourselves—when you buy into that you’re internalizing a tyrannical approach to your beauty and your health and your wellness.

We use the Slow Beauty blog as an educational tool to engage readers to develop and sustain a personal Slow Beauty practice. Slowbeauty.com is a resource for those looking for examples of how to get off the fast track.

Q: How does meditation and consciousness fit into slow beauty?

Shel Pink. I talk about seven “Outposts” or paths to slow beauty (spa tradition, rituals, renewal, self-expression, meditation, nourished mind, and mindful consumption). Once you decide to embark on a slower path to beauty, the Outposts serve as places, spaces, and experiences to support your decision.

Transcendental Meditation is a holistic approach to beauty health and wellness

Although all Outposts are essential, meditation is an important one that people need to explore right now. I see that meditation will explode in interest in much the same way yoga did a decade ago. Research on TM shows that it slows down the aging process. It’s a more pleasurable way to approach aging, versus punitive ways such as botox and plastic surgery. It’s a more holistic approach to beauty, health, and wellness as opposed to the fragmented approach that we’ve been buying into for all these years.

Consciousness is the future. People are getting burned out, tired of checking multiple voice mails and emails and being engaged 24/7. If you’re racing, you aren’t experiencing quality of life; you aren’t really productive at the end of the day. Slow beauty is about connecting with your authentic self—about raising your consciousness and putting that out into the world.

Q: What are the most important benefits that you receive from your daily meditation?

Shel Pink: It’s reduced my stress levels. After working all day, you can feel parts of your body hold onto the stress. When I do the TM I literally can feel that part of my body relaxing and stress melting away.

I also have moments during flu season when people around me are getting sick, and I feel I have this extra protection from it. Stress compromises the immune system, but because stress is melting away with TM, I’m less prone to catching people’s colds and flu.

I think it’s increased my focus and stillness. And it’s created more awareness. We go through life being reactive to situations. I feel that meditation practice helps you be more still, so when a curve ball is thrown at you—and every day we have curve balls thrown at us—you’re less reactive. You are more thoughtful about your responses instead of being automatically reactive or emotional about it.

Q: As a mother and entrepreneur, how do you manage to fit meditation into your busy schedule?

Shel Pink: I fit it in the morning because if I don’t do it I feel that something is missing. I almost crave it. And in the afternoon it’s a welcome reprieve to tune out from the meetings and deadlines for 20 minutes. I’m lucky because we have a training theatre in our office and it’s soundproof. It really refreshes me and helps me get through the rest of the day.

I usually get home from work from around 4:30-5:00—although I’ll continue to work on things after kids go to bed. I try to be balanced about work and family. My husband, Ran, is a music producer, and he learned TM two years ago. And that’s been really great, to have my husband doing TM as well, because we protect each other’s meditation space on the weekends.

Ayurveda and meditation with Shel Pink

In fact, we have made meditation a part of our family philosophy. I love that we are teaching our children to be aware of the benefits of meditation at an early age.

Q: What advice can you give for someone who wants to start a business today?

Shel Pink: Do a lot of research. And I’m a big believer in concept writing. The most important thing about starting a business is to have the insight, to know what is the need—and that you’re putting something out there that is going to help solve an issue or a real need.

I’d also like to say, believe in your ideas. Sometimes people will push back. I’ve learned now that if some people say “no” or react in a very strong way, negatively—that there’s something there, that you’ve hit a nerve. So keep pushing forward with what you believe in and develop your intuition and inner voice. Listen to that even if it’s very quiet. Make it stronger and louder because that’s what’s going to guide you through all phases of starting a business.

Linda Egenes is co-editor of Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation® Magazine. She is the author of five books, including Super Healthy Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Maharishi Ayurveda, co-authored with Kumuda Reddy, M.D.

(I originally wrote this interview for Enlightenment Magazine, Issue number 12. Reprinted with permission.)

BY LINDA EGENES

When Keelan Dimick was three years old, he started tinkering on the piano. At first he taught himself to play by ear, then took two years of instruction in classical piano. But it wasn’t until he switched to jazz that great things started to happen.

Transcendental Meditation with Pianist Keelan Dimick

At age 13, just four months after taking his first jazz piano lesson, he won first place in the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, junior division. Two years later, he won first place at the senior division and was recruited by top music schools.

It turns out that Keelan had a secret weapon that set him apart from other contestants: his practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

“It’s easier to get into the zone when you do your meditation regularly,” he says. “It also balances the whole system, calms you down so it’s easier to let go. That’s the main thing when playing jazz, to let go. Then the music will play itself.”

Keelan, who recently graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, says that with regular meditation, composing music is easier too. “You plant a seed and then let the music write itself. Meditation helps you stay on the feeling level. The more intellect you put into your music, the less moving it’s going to be to an audience.”

Right now he’s excited about opportunities that are popping up, including a New Year’s Eve gig in Santa Barbara with a big jazz band that will be playing Keelan’s own compositions. And he’s taking two months to help set up a jazz music program and train faculty at a Filipino university this fall.

Keelan is one of thousands of young people who are turning to the TM technique not only to give them a cutting edge as students, but also to help them launch their careers in the competitive field of the arts.

Transcendental Meditation helps Overcome Dyslexia Anxiety Depression Dana FarleyOvercoming Dyslexia, Anxiety, and Depression

Take Dana Farley, age 22, a Long Island native who credits the Transcendental Meditation technique with helping her to overcome the challenges of dyslexia as well as teenage anxiety and depression. A chance meeting with director David Lynch started her on the path to TM and filmmaking.

“I was a sophomore in high school, and my mom asked me, ‘Do you want to go to the city and meet a director?’ I was really into film, so I hate to admit that I didn’t know who David Lynch was at the time. But I went to the meeting where he showed us a video of kids in an inner city school who, because of the David Lynch Foundation, started practicing TM. They sat quietly and meditated twice a day, there was no more school violence, and the kids did better in school. After hearing that, I was interested in learning the technique and seeing what it could do for me.”

Having struggled with severe dyslexia since childhood, Dana says, “I had a lot of insecurities when it came to school. Since starting TM I’m not putting myself down all the time. The negative thoughts just don’t appear. Instead of thinking, ‘I can’t do this’ I’m thinking ‘Why not?’”

Aware of the high stress levels and a troubling rise in suicide rates and depression in American teenagers, Dana had the idea to create a documentary about her own TM experience. She started making the film in high school, and continued working on it even while an undergraduate at Bucknell University. Even though Dana majored in English, she joined a film club to get more practice behind the camera.

Dana’s perseverance paid off. While still a junior in college her documentary Beyond the Noise: My Transcendental Meditation Journey, which featured David Lynch and Dana, was released and received a favorable response at the Marbella International Film Festival.

In the film, Dana talks about how TM practice can help young people deal with stress. “Instead of running away from or avoiding the problems and hassles you have by taking drugs or fooling around in other ways, TM practice helps bring a sense of inner freedom, of being ‘high’ in a completely natural way. It gives you a lift in your spirits—a freedom from the stress you are feeling and the sense of burden you are feeling.”

Since the film came out in 2011, Dana has created another documentary, completed internships with Howard Stern radio, and graduated from college. She is currently pursuing work in documentary film and the nonprofit sector. She says, “I think of where I want to be in ten years, and it would be nice to in some way make a difference, to help people, to leave the world a little bit better than it was before.”

Transcendental Meditation helps women model Tanell Pretorius

Looking For Something More

Tanell Pretorius of South Africa has taken a different route—postponing college to pursue a glamorous London modeling career that included TV commercials for Sony PlayStation, catalogue work for Marks and Spencer, and shoots with Rankin, the legendary British photographer.

“The TV work was really fun,” she says. “You’d arrive at five a.m. and see hundreds of lighting people, gaffers, and set designers running around, and often you’d be the hero of the whole thing.”

But the long hours (one shoot started at 3:00 in the afternoon and lasted until 9:00 a.m.) and the pressure of constant self-scrutiny started to take their toll.

“In modeling your body is your product,” Tanell says. “Like most models, I started to develop weird habits with food. I was working out too much and injured myself. That’s when I found meditation.”

Tanell says that all her life, she had been looking for something more, even after becoming a top model. “When I started the TM technique, I immediately felt that this is the missing part of life, this is the thing that makes life complete, that makes it full and amazing. I started to feel so deeply in touch with myself, a lot more connected to my body and my needs. It even healed my sports injuries.”

At that point Tanell decided to leave full-time modeling and explore her love of learning at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. A media and communications major, she is also earning certification as a Maharishi Ayurveda wellness consultant. She plans to use her skills in writing to share what she’s learned about health, yoga, and fitness with other women.

“I’d love to help women to get more in touch with themselves, to work out and choose what to eat from an intuitive level rather than from what a magazine or an article is telling them to do,” she says.

As an undergraduate, Tanell is already writing for a regional magazine on health and fitness topics. She says that TM practice helps writers because “the fog of stress goes away and you’re able to experience life more richly. With the TM technique, you get more in touch with the universal truths of life. That’s what makes any art powerful—whether it’s writing or film or music. TM practice allows the writer to feel and experience those truths more deeply, and so the audience can also feel more deeply.”

These three creative twenty-somethings have one thing in common—they all highly recommend the TM technique to other young people.

“When you’re a student, it’s easy to float around and get lost, defeating the purpose of going to college—which is to get grounded and to learn, not to party all the time,” says Keelan. “Meditation helps you to prioritize and puts you automatically on the right path.”

Tanell agrees. “It’s helped me to not be so confused by the little things, moment to moment,” she says. “The great thing about the TM technique, you’re not just talking about the bigger picture, you’re experiencing it. And it’s so freeing, so liberating, to feel the largeness of life, how big you really are as a person, within yourself. Then you don’t get lost in the small things.”

(I originally wrote this interview for Enlightenment Magazine, Issue number 14. Reprinted with permission.)